H1B visa - 221g admin processing white slip - Chennai

Hi All, I would like to present my case in this forum to get your thoughts and suggestions. I tried giving all the possible info and because of that this has become a lengthy post. Please take time to read and share your thoughts. Thank you.

I am on my own H1B and my spouse is on her own H1B and my son is H4 dependent on my wife’s H1. We all had drop box appointments on the same day (OCT 30). Both their visas were issued in a week and they both returned to US end of Nov 2023 as per the initial plan because of my spouse work and my son’s school.
My case is like this.
I had my H1B visa drop box appointment on 30 OCT 2023. I received passport back on 07 NOV 2023 with a 221g white slip asking me to appear for in-person interview on 11 DEC 2023. I attended interview on 11 DEC 2023 (Chennai consulate) and the result was another 221G white slip mentioning administrative processing. All documents including passport were returned back to me.

My employment history is as follows. I am in US since early 2017. I was initially on L1B from 2017 and then changed to H1B in OCT 2021 through the current employer. Initial H1B petition was approved from OCT 2021 till DEC 2022 and the subsequent extension/renewal (after having I-140 approved) was filed in NOV 2022 and was approved in MAR 2023. My employer offers both consulting services and also a product development company. We are passionately building a product for one of the financial sector use case. I work in the product development (in house project).

Coming to the interview part:
VO: How long you are working for ‘XXX’?
I answered - 2 years and 3 months (since OCT 2021)
VO: She was searching something in the system and then asked - Is it a consultancy? what do you know about the company?
I answered - XXX is a IT services and software product development company. I work in our flagship product that we are building and then started talking about the product but VO cut me off.
VO: What is your salary?
I answered - the number as per LCA

VO then asked me to submit all the docs I have. I submitted everything (Current & previous I797s, LCA, entire I-129 petition, payslips, W2s, Resume, our detailed project description, employment letter with clear job duties, offer letter, employment agreement, transcripts etc). VO then told me to wait in the lobby until called and VO also said it will take a while. By then most of the appointments for the day were done and only 20-30 applicants were inside the consulate. I started waiting and all the applicants left the consulate. Finally, I was the only one left along with consulate staff. After 10-15 mins of waiting alone, VO called me and said - we need more time to process your case and hence I am issuing 221g AP with a white slip. VO returned all my documents that I shared earlier along with my passport. VO also said nothing expected from me and the process might take a month or 3 months and all I have to do is wait.

While VO did not explicitly say anything, I feel VO was not convinced about the fact that a consulting firm employing H1B employee to work on their inhouse project/product. I am not sure what kind of admin processing happens in this case. But, I can 100% say, my employer, my office, my work and the inhouse project (product) I am working on all are genuine. My employer is not a big commercial and it is on the smaller side with around 300 employess (in both product and consulting).

I have the below questions.

  1. Any initial thoughts on my case? What kind of AP might happen to these kind of cases. What are my chances of getting approved and how long it might take?
  2. What are the other options I have? Since my spouse is on H1, can I apply for H4? If so, what pre-requisites (/steps) should I take to make sure my H4 gets approved. Because the priority for me is to reach US back on any visa to join with my family. I am aware that I can’t work on H4 without EAD (on a side note, my spouse has I-140 approved)
  3. Some articles were talking about employer revoking H1B petition so that I can apply for H4. Any idea, how long this revocation takes if we have to take this route? Should we wait for the revocation to approve or can I start H4 process with receipt notice? or my current H1B 221g case and H4 are two independent cases that can go in parallel?
  4. Any suggestions on whether should I wait for a decision on 221g case for some months before pursuing with H1B revocation option and go for H4 or with any other possible alternate options? I know this is very early on my 221g AP case but I am worried about the potentially long separation from my family with unknown admin processing timelines.
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Hi @anil_am22 Could you please see if you can help with your thoughts and suggestions? Thanks.

Pros, any suggestions or thoughts on my case. thanks.

What has been written in your H1B petition which is approved?

Has your H1B petition been approved for product development or third party consulting work?

Also, did they ask you to submit last 15 year travel history as part of 221g?

H4 can be applied in parallel.

H4 Visa Stamping Documents Checklist - Marriage certificate, Wedding Invitation Card, Photo album, H1B i797, employment verification letter, Pay stubs, W2, LCA. H4 Visa Stamping Documents Checklist - Interview, Dropbox - USA

Yes, my H1B petition was approved for product development. My employer shared with me complete I-129 (more than 120 pages) that was submitted to USCIS and it consistency talks about our product as my project and my job duties in the product development. I-129 set also contains supplemental documents about the product suite in detail. I did share this entire document to VO along with many other docs.

  • They did NOT ask me to submit last 15 year travel history. While issuing 221g white slip, VO said we don’t need anything from you and all you have to do is wait. White slip has only admin processing checked. then returned all my documents and passport.

  • Thank you for the clarification on H4 and sharing the checklist.

Did you receive any update on this? was your visa approved?

Did you check with your employer if they received any communication from USCIS or the consulate?

You can try to follow up with the consulate as it is almost 3 months. Yes you can apply for H4.

You may apply for H4 while H1B application is under AP. I dont think your employer need to withdraw H1B.

I suggest sending an email to the consulate processing the application and explain your situation with your family the the hardship faces by your wife taking care of your child as well as her job plus the ling separation.

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My case also J1 Visa 221 g case stucked for more than 45 days

Hi @Kalpesh_Dalwadi did you apply for H4, what is the process you followed while scheduling h4 appointment, do you close h1b application and start new h4 application in us visa scheduling